Saturday, 8 August 2015

REVIEW || KARMASE7EN JEWELLERY

The lovely folks at  Karma Se7en have hooked me up with more sparklies to show you all! Including some rose gold...stay tuned for more! 




First up are two internally threaded labrets! I opted for a plain and a jewelled labret, just to see how they looked.

The titanium labret is actually super comfortable; the disk is rounded on the bottom, so it doesn't rub against my gums while I'm wearing it in my philtrum. And likewise, it's just as comfortable in my lower lip piercing (which I don't really wear jewellery in these days, but it's good to know I have a back up that won't irritate the hell out of my gums!)
The gem labret is just as comfortable, has a nice finish, and the bead is actually smaller, making it a little more discreet than a standard bar is. What makes these different from normal labret bars is that instead of screwing the ball onto the post, the post is hollow, and the ball actually has threading on it! It's a little fiddly if you aren't used to it, but with practice it's just as easy as a normal bar.

SO SQUISHY.

Next up is a pair of LINK Kaos softwear earskins. I've been known to wear silicone in my ears, especially once I got past 26mm; it's more lightweight and comfortable, but you can't always guarantee the materials are going to be of good quality.
 Kaos are the most well known and high quality suppliers of silicone wear, and earskins are something I've always wanted to get my grubby mits on! These are called earskins because they're very thin, super pliable, and as you can see once they're in your ears, they're firm enough to hold their shape while not looking too obtrusive!

Left; "Goddess" clicker and the jewelled internally threaded labret. Right; Kaos Softwear earskins doing their thaaang, and the jewelled segment ring

Finally, the big guns - septum clickers! You may remember from my last post on Karma Se7en that I tried out their jewelled clicker and fell in love. Well, now it has competition as these designs are just to die for!

Clockwise from top left: "Imperial", "Goddess" & jewelled segment ring

This hinged segment ring is so teeny and sweet; I find I've been wearing this the most as it's not as 'in your face' as some other clickers I own, and the crystals add that little bit extra sparkle. It's also very simple to put in; pull it gently apart, insert the bare section through your piercing, and click back into place! I was worried I'd have to break out the ring opening pliers for this like most other segment rings, but the hinge means it's really easy to change in and out, and it also means I don't spend twenty minutes swearing at myself trying to pop in a tiny segment!

Rose gold clicker, "Imperial". SO PRETTY.

These clickers, the Imperial and Goddess respectively, are a whole other story. Super shiny finish, surprisingly lightweight, and ridiculously eyecatching - all three make for an excellent piece of jewellery. I have a tiny nose, and I was worried these would look a little bit too much, but they're a dream to wear and don't get in the way at all.
The rose gold has completely captured my heart. I'm totally not a gold person at all, I'll opt for a silver piece of jewellery or plain polished titanium any day, but the shade is just beautiful. I can't wait to find more, I need a whole matching set of this now!


I can't wait to capture some different looks with all of these! From understated to full blown "LOOK AT MY FREAKING NOSE YOU GUYS, IT'S A GODDESS!", this collection just shows K7's versatility and range of jewellery available for all piercings. Why not check them out, let me know your favourite piece?

I can't wait to throw myself back into blogging again! My college money comes in this month which is just as well, as I've spent three days armed with a butter knife and a pair of scissors fiddling around with this old laptop just to get this post sorted. It's high time I got myself a new laptop, but while we're on the subject of electricals I managed to bag myself a beauty steal on eBay that I can't wait to share with you!
I've been quiet as it's the summer holidays and I have a hyper five year old who wants to do everything all at once! How have you spent your summer?

Love,

Saturday, 27 June 2015

REVIEW || DEBENHAMS FLOWERS & SEWING ROOM SNIPPETS


It's been a difficult few weeks to say the least; our problem neighbor who's been keeping us up all night and risked our home being broken into has finally been evicted, and I finally got my CFS diagnosis. So I'm emotionally exhausted, and needed cheering up.

I think the PR team at Debenhams Flowers must be mind readers, because the very day after my diagnosis they dropped me an email asking if I'd like to review a bouquet of their flowers! Now I'll admit that's not normally my thing, but I've heard good things about their flowers, and I needed a little pick me up!


I chose the Cornish Rose bouquet, and Katie was great with organising the flower delivery; Brandon's had a busy few weeks for nursery including concerts and sports days, so my week days were chock a block, but they organised a weekend delivery for me. At bang on 10 am on the Saturday, my postman handed me a huge purple box and my face lit up when I remembered about the flowers! They also included a card with a sweet message inside (See? Mind readers!) Also can I just say, I think they look fabulous next to Wee Betty; there's something really nostalgic for me, looking at a big beautiful bunch of flowers next to a vintage sewing machine. It makes me feel almost home sick!


We don't have pretty vases, so I made use out of Andrew's huge beer stein (sorry pal, flowers are more important!) and set it at my craft area. I don't even have a corner, because the house is so small the only space I have to put all my crafty supplies is at my window in my room! Oh the joys of living in a tiny flat.
But gosh, these flowers! How beautiful are they? They've instantly brightened up not only the craft area, but that whole section of my room; it tends to look a bit duller/more cluttered as there's so much stuff squeezed into that little section, but the flowers I feel have really opened it up!

Brandon keeps calling these my 'happy flowers' because I keep checking them and smiling. Amazing what a difference having some fresh flowers around makes!


I've never ordered flowers by post before, but I'd do it again - it was so quick, convenient, and I didn't run the risk of dropping them running for a bus; believe me, I've done that before and ended up handing my mum a soggy, broken, pathetic looking bunch of carnations! They also offer next day flowers so if it's something you need in a rush, it's ideal. I'll admit a couple of the petals were a little bit withered, but I just perked them up with a spray of water; within a day or so they were looking good as new!

I'd definitely order from them again; and I'm pretty sure I've successfully talked Andrew into having fresh flowers more often as the cats haven't attacked them, and Brandon hasn't knocked them over! Floral success! *fist pumps the air*
You can share the love by using this code the Debenhams Flowers team were kind enough to give me - use DFBLOG25 for 25% off a bouquet from any range except the Flowers By Post range (which to be fair is only a little selection!)


I'm taking these flowers as a good omen; hopefully this is the beginning of things looking up and getting a little bit better!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

COLLEGEPOUT || #1 || COLLEGE ESSENTIALS: SPLASH OR SAVE?



Welcome to the first in what is hopefully a long running series: CollegePout! Where I document my time at college, share thrifty ideas for those of us on a low income, and also any bargains or tips and tricks I pick up along the way. 
Initially I wanted to do Youtube videos and have it running as a kind of vlog series alongside the blog; though I have to be honest, I stutter a lot, I don't get a lot of time in the day where I have peace to film, and I also have the most disgusting accent ever that probably would require subtitles. So here's hoping this is the beginning of something awesome, that can help current students, future students, or those of you who like a bargain and some easy reading on a weekday!

First things first, I wanted to kick off this series with a 'splash or save' style post. I'm not on the highest income in the world, as I have my own home with my boyfriend and son, and over the years I've learned how to scrimp, save and find the best bargains. I consider myself quite thrifty, and I spend a lot of time researching on what's the best product for the best price! So I decided to make this my first post, where you can see the most expensive vs the best value for money when it comes to college essentials!
Note: prices are correct at time of writing this post. These are the cheapest I've found them online, stores may have different prices or deals on.

THE LAPTOP

You definitely need a decent laptop to get college work done (and to make sure you can procrastinate to the best of your ability!) and the all-round winner for everyone seems to be the MacBook Pro. If you go for the 2013 model, it's not only the last Mac to have a disk drive, it's also the last to have removable memory so you can upgrade it and make it last forever. But at £755 (a steal on Amazon) it's a little bit pricey for most of us.

 I've spent hours reading reviews and information online, and it seems like you'll be getting the best bang for your buck with the Acer V-13. It looks like it'll be able to handle both college work, light gaming and blogging, so it'll work as an all round laptop! (and hopefully it'll last as long as my current laptop, with less problems!) At £329.99 from Curry's at its cheapest, it's a great price for an ultrabook that's had smashing reviews and has hit all the top lists.
To save a little bit more, you can even pop into your local Curry's and ask if they have a refurbished laptop or a display model - it means you get it a lot cheaper than you would have originally!

NOTE TAKING

I know this probably counts as a laptop, but hands down this is supposed to be the best tablet for note taking. Everyone is raving about the Microsoft Surface Pro 3; you can use the app "Evernote" or similar, and that means that your notes are readable from any device that has that app, and with a stylus it makes writing and sorting diagrams easy. It also detaches from the keyboard and can be used as a tablet! It's lightweight, versatile, and portable...and also racks in at around £600 WITHOUT the keypad..

Now call me old fashioned, but I've never seen the point in using a tablet to take notes on. Everyone I know who's at college says they could never have done it without their tablet, and yet all I can think is, 'What's wrong with a good old notebook?'
No, not a notebook laptop - an actual paper notepad, remember? Like we used at school?
Again, it might be me being stingy or old fashioned, but I personally prefer having all of my notes on paper. I do the same with blogging; I write all my thoughts down first on paper, and then use that to cook up a blog post. Plus, I'm a self-confessed notebook addict and the addiction must be fed! There's nothing like having everything written down in front of you, important pieces highlighted and scribbles and doodles from where your concentration has dropped, to work from. Not only this, but notebooks don't run out of battery, or become nothing more than an expensive paperweight when my son gets his hands on them!
I love this geeky kitty notebook from Paperchase, and at only £6 I know exactly which one out of these two I'd choose!

WARM COATS


It's either from growing up in Scotland with it's temperamental weather or it's the mum in me, but I really believe investing in a good coat is absolutely essential. Plus, I like feeling pretty while I'm warm! In the land where you can see four seasons in one day, there's nothing worse than being fooled by the sunshine outside, heading out without a jacket, and half way to your destination getting absolutely drenched and ending up frozen and soggy for the rest of the day.

This faux fur trimmed parka from ASOS is absolutely stunning, and looks really warm...but £160? Really? If you've got the cash to splash then by all means go right ahead, but there are other alternatives available! Like this beautiful parka from Dorothy Perkins. It's almost the exact same, and at £25 is a fraction of the price.
If you want to save even MORE money, you can do what I do and hit the charity shops and TK Maxx: the shops around here are always chock full of pretty, barely worn clothes. In fact my red duffel coat from this post cost me less than a tenner from TK Maxx, and has lasted me years!
Give your local charity shops a try, you'll never know what you find when you dig around!

TRAVEL


As much as I'd love to, it'd be physically impossible for me to skate to college without either landing myself in hospital or falling onto the train tracks at some point (STIRLING, Y U SO HILLY?) and I'm looking to get my fitness up a little bit, while also making sure I actually arrive on time. It's the curse of those of us who are perpetually late, no matter how much we plan. And buses are expensive!

So this summer Andrew is teaching me how to ride a bike. Yes, I never learned; I have the co-ordination of a newborn bush baby, it's truly a curse. Ideally I'd love a vintage style bike so I can pretend I'm in Call The Midwife while pedalling furiously to get to college on time: I've trawled everywhere online, and I found this beautiful vintage style bicycle from Pashley. But at £675, it's ever so slightly out of my budget.

This is where your local selling pages and Gumtree come in handy! My mother in law got a brand new bike and one of those little pull-along wagons for her two youngest to sit in for free! So it's definitely worth searching Facebook for your local Freegle or Freecycle, where people are dedicated to saving things from landfill and give things away for free. I searched my area of Gumtree to search for vintage style bikes on the offchance one may appear, and lo and behold this model was going for £50, from the next town over. 
There could also be a local Recyc-a-Bike in your area too, where they fix up old broken bikes and sell them on for low prices. The options are endless if you know where to look, and hopefully these links help out!

BAGS


Needless to say, a decent bag that looks nice and is going to last the year is essential. You need something to hold all your books, laptop, notes, lunch, and anything else you take to college on a daily basis. I found this pretty yellow leather satchel from Zatchel; everyone has praised them highly for the quality and the longevity, and it helps that they're beautiful too! Clocking in between £80-120, they're expensive for a bag but supposedly well worth the money.
Not surprisingly, Asda have their own lovely versions! I have a heart print version of this contrast satchel from Asda that cost £6, and has lasted me over a year with no scuffs, snapped straps or shredded linings! And trust me when I say bags never usually last me more than a few months. The eBay offerings like this one may be pretty, but they don't hold up more than a couple of months; my owl print one snapped while I was running for a bus on the buckle, sending my phone and important papers flying. Not ideal!
If you want to go the even cheaper route, you can hit up the charity shops again and find a good bag after raking for a while, for mere pennies. Or even better, pick up some curtains or bedsheets in a fabric you really like, and make your own! There are plenty of patterns available for free online, from a simple tote bag to a more complicated satchel; if you take the time to sit and fiddle with your sewing machine, you can pretty much make a bag for every day of the week! And all it'll cost you is a £2 pair of curtains from the charity shops.

All in all, how much could you save following these tips?


Quite a lot, by the looks of things!

So there we have it, my first (lengthy) installment of CollegePout! I may come across as a skinflint, but what can I say? I'm Scottish, and we're known for having shallow pockets! All joking aside, in this day and age, money can be so tight that it can be difficult to get both style and substance without sacrificing the weight of your wallet. I hope this little guide has helped a bit towards showing how you can save money while making sure you're getting the best products possible!

Has this helped you in any way? Do you have any more money saving tips you can share? If you have any ideas or anything you'd like to add, feel free to click the contact button and get in touch, whether it's sharing an idea, or if you'd like to guest post!

Take care, and happy saving!
Love,





Monday, 15 June 2015

REVIEW || KARMA SE7EN BODY JEWELLERY

karma-se7ven-body-jewellery-review

As you all know, I'm a sucker for anything sparkly. I'm like a human magpie; if it glitters, I've got to have it. The same goes for body jewellery, if it makes me feel pretty, it's getting popped in!
Karma Se7en Body Jewellery offered to send me some sparkly pieces to review, and of course I couldn't say no!
Note; as I am an ex-body piercer, I'm exceptionally picky when it comes to body jewellery. I inspect it for quality just as though it was going to one of my customers. Therefore my reviews for body jewellery will always be more in depth than usual reviews!


The packaging the jewellery arrived in is just wonderful: once I opened the little cardboard box, each piece of jewellery was placed in its own tiny perspex case, and secured with elastic to make sure it isn't rattling around the case. The attention to detail, as well as the company logo over everything, is really refreshing and a nice change from just receiving jewellery in plastic bags like what a lot of companies do. The cases look quite handy for storing jewellery if I'm going away, to keep them safe! Onto the actual jewellery...

karma-se7en-nose-ring-hoop-tiny

First up for review is the titanium open nose ring. This piece is 1.2x7mm, which means it's 1.2mm thick (standard for nose rings) and 7mm wide. I choose mine to be really small and close fitting as I've got a tiny nose, and my nose piercings are over 6 years old so are way past the swelling stage!
The finish is polished, scratch-free, high-shine, and there's no nicks or burrs to snag inside the piercing. Good to go! It's a tad fiddly to get in, as you have to put it in from the inside out so that the flat back will rest inside your nose, but once it was in the ring felt secure and comfortable, a perfect fit! I'd recommend this style for everyone who wants to wear a nose ring, but doesn't want the hassle of segment rings or the fiddly balls on ball closure rings (Ooh-err!)


Next up is the silver crystal nose stud. Again I opted for the 1.2mm thickness simply because that's what mine have sat at for so long. The stem of the stud isn't too long, it's made of 925 silver, the gem is nice and bright and shiny (and still is after an accidental dousing from some foundation, oops!) and it's comfortable to wear. My only little bother is that the gem is very small; that'd be fine for anyone else, but as my nose piercings are quite old and have been stretched larger and then settled back down, it can sit right inside the piercing sometimes! But that's just me. It's a beautiful wee piece, and makes me wonder why I stopped wearing studs for so long.

jewelled-septum-clicker-body-jewellery

A bit of a different piece for you! The jewelled septum ring is a piece of jewellery I've loved the style of for so long; I've had cheaper clickers, and they don't even compare to how pretty this is! They're called clickers because instead of screwing in balls (again...ooh err!) or fiddling around with segment rings, they actually have tiny hinges and a catch, and the straight bar clicks in and out of place when you're wearing it, which leaves it really secure! I love this style, and it feels really feminine and pretty. The gems on it again are clear and bright, and were actually quite hard to try to photograph! My only gripe with this is that it's a tad too big for me (1.6x8mm)...I have a tiny nose though, and ideally I'd need a 7 or a 6mm to have it close fitting. It doesn't bother me though, it's just from personal preference that I like my nose jewellery REALLY tight fitted, but the reality is that not many places cater to weeny teeny noses! This is a good size though, and would sit well on most people.
They actually have a HUGE selection of septum jewellery available, check it out here!

filigree-tunnels-body-jewellery-karma-se7en

Last but certainly not least, I have these gorgeous pieces to show you! These are filigree single flare eyelets, and they are absolutely stunning. I'm slowly working on stretching my ears again; once upon a time they were hitting 30mm, but I'm at 16mm now and I'd say that's the perfect size to showcase these tunnels. They sit just nicely, and are surprisingly comfortable to wear; I was worried they'd be a little bit heavy, but as they're surgical steel they're lighter than they would be if they were titanium, so they sit just so!

I felt so feminine and pretty with these in that I had to snap a few photos...
Sadly, the Alpine Green has faded on my greys and my silver streaks are showing... can I just be Rogue already?!

karma-se7en-filigree-tunnels-eyelets

nose-ring-septum-piercing-clicker


All in all I'm quite happy with these pieces; like I said before I'm a stickler for quality, but I couldn't find anything I disliked apart from the sizing (but again that's down to me being really really picky!). And the packaging has just floored me, it's adorable and feels like you're getting a gift!

If you see anything on the Karma Se7en site that you like, they actually have a buy one get one free on all jewellery, go take advantage and treat yourself to all the things!

Love,

Monday, 8 June 2015

REVIEW & TUTORIAL || La Riche Directions "Alpine Green", "Lagoon Blue", and Lightening Kit - Ombre Mermaid Hair!


Okay, I've been bad. I'm sorry. I promised I wouldn't mess around with my hair any more than I needed to. I've been so well behaved, barely using heat on it and only using semi-permanent dyes. But the need for mermaid hair is strong...and Blue Banana are pure enablers. Enablers, I tell you! They kindly allowed me to select a couple of Directions dyes and their bleach kit to try out and see if I could achieve my dream hair. 

Could it work on dark, unbleached hair? Would the bleach wreck my ends? Will I finally get mermaid hair? I'm well aware this is starting to sound like a clickbait article, but these were things I was wondering during the process.
And did I? Oh boy, did I.
Read on to find out...

Sunday, 17 May 2015

REVIEW || GEISHA WIGS, "BLACK BERRIES"


I have a new wig to show you all this week, and this one's a doozy! Presenting "Black Berries" by Geisha Wigs, a beautiful black and magenta ombre curled wig. It has a blunt fringe and layered soft curls, giving it an almost 50's-esque style to it - and I'm officially in love!

Click for more after the jump!